Kit Capsule 2021: Everton Bring Back the Black Watch

It’s a kit that Everton fans have long been crying out to see and Hummel did not disappoint when they updated the Toffees’ early Black Watch colours.

Hummel have made a real thing of listening to what fans want, often blending stories of the past with modern technology to bring refreshing new edges to their kits.

Everton’s 2021-22 away kit is a tribute to the early “Black Watch” colours worn by the Toffees back in the 1881-82 season.

Everton, Black Watch, Kit, 2021-22, Hummel
The full Black Watch kit by Hummel

This strip was worn in the days before the Toffees became founder members of the football league in 1888, with the club mostly playing friendly matches against local teams like Burscough, Northwich Victoria, Bootle and Oswestry.

Having changed from St Domingo’s to Everton, they were earning a growing local reputation and could draw up to 1,400 spectators to their matches on Stanley Park.

This meant they were able to attract the cream of local players, but with the custom of the time being that new boys played games in the shirts of their old clubs, they were beginning to look like a motley crew rather than a cohesive sporting unit.

A solution came with the decision to collect all their shirts together, dye them black and then sew a two inch diagonal scarlet sash across them.

Everton, Black Watch, Kit, 2021-22, Hummel
Hummel black-out the details to add to the overall vintage impression

Stop there for a moment.

Isn’t it wonderful to think that one hundred and forty years ago, groups of friends and amateur footballers were thinking of how they should show up on a pitch?

Isn’t it even more wonderful to think that 14 decades on, thousands and thousands of fans across the world should care about those decisions enough to want to wear a football shirt that updates that idea on how they should look?

Our sport and our heritage, really is a beautiful thing.

Everton, Black Watch, Kit, 2021-22, Hummel
Dominic Calvert-Lewin produces a brighter moment for Everton in their 2-0 win over Brighton at the Amex

This led to local newspaper reports of the time referring to the team as the Black Watch, with the new strip described as follows:

“The new costume of the Evertonians consists of black jerseys and pants, and white hose, with a crimson sash or band slung crosswise from shoulder to hip, a make up which gives players a neat and business-like appearance.”

From the Liverpool Courier’s report of the match against Chester Rovers, played on 24 September 1881

There’s no link to the famous Black Watch regiment itself, yet it seems the nickname came as a salute to them, echoing through the ages as that side’s goalscoring prowess and early successes saw Everton called “the Invincible Black Watch” in later reports.

Everton then cycled through a number of different colours and styles over the next 20 years, slowly moving towards the kit we know today around 1901, when their royal blue shirts were introduced.

Everton, Black Watch, Kit, 2021-22, Hummel
Everton’s badge is toned down on the black shorts

This kit was released in the final weeks of the 2020-21 season and immediately became a favourite among the Goodison Park faithful.

Hummel’s bumblebee logo is blacked out nicely, however, the colour of the sash itself seems more orange than scarlet.

As smart as Hummel’s kit is, the design takes on a new meaning and importance when you understand the story behind it.

Beautiful.

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